Yankee Go Home…

Growing up in central New York and going off to college in Kentucky and later in southern Illinois can be a bit of a culture shock. At Murray, my first student aid job was as a custodian in one of the buildings on campus with 3 lovable “good ol’ boys”. They were between 50 and 65 years old and I was a continual source of amazement to them. They were not impressed with me in any way… more like a curiosity. They thought it strange that would come to school to major in art, that I wouldn’t share my romantic adventures, that I never had real moonshine (they cured me of that) and finally, that I made sculpture. I, on the other hand, was amused by their interchanging the word sculpture with sculptor( I have since noticed this with many other words like saying ideal when one means idea) and that it seemed that this affectation was not confined to the three men I worked with. I spent some late summers in the tobacco fields making extra money and the tobacco farmers used the same phrase during breaks when people are shooting the breeze. Inevitably there would be a point in the conversation where they would ask… “now, what d’ya do there at the college?” and after I mentioned that I made sculpture someone would always look at me sideways like I must be pulling their leg and say something like… “so yer a sculpture eh?” This continued into graduate school and when I had my MFA exhibition, the name of my show was obvious to me. Here’s my MFA show poster…




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7 Responses to “Yankee Go Home…”

  1. gary Says:

    Man are you a BADAZZ! I like the smirk/growl.

  2. red dirt mule Says:

    is that you ?????
    i like the banjo.


  3. Peter Says:

    Hi Jim, I used to get “areya genna paint a photo of ut?” when I was a painter. (this is New Zealand, you understand where “it” becomes “ut”. In Australia “it” would be rendered as “eet”) People call my kiln a “kilm” or an “oven”. I’ve lived long enough now to have enjoyed onlookers saying “Choice” (slowly like a cow mooing) when they have seen me painting outside, then, as the years went by, “Cool” took over (or “Cooowell” if they were really impressed). Occasionally “WOW!” is exhaled (with a gasp like being hit in the stomach by a ball). In distant times, “Massive!” was used, and has been replaced by “Awesome!” American sitcoms are played a lot on NZ television, so some of the expressions seem to change as newer programmes finally reach these shores.
    Thanks for your comments on my blog, they are much appreciated (Choice mate! Awesome!), and are a big boost to my rather wobbly morale. Best Wishes, Peter

  4. Andrew Douglas Says:

    That’s brilliant 🙂 Is that you, or someone else?

  5. Barbara Edwards Says:

    Yep, you captured the look. Another story – central NY to college in Kentucky?

  6. cynthia Says:

    Funny and interesting post…I remember shortly after I graduated from H.S. I moved to south central rural PA to live with my Mom and to make amends with her after my parents nasty divorce.

    She helped me land a job at the local Pizza Hut – which was a pretty darn good gig since jobs were few and far between. The year there convinced me to go to college and the people I worked with kept asking me why I would ever want to do something like that. It was a weird experience for me being around people who were raised so differently with no expectation of college or even leaving their rural enclave.

    Going to the Maryland shore was about as far as anyone ever traveled. It was also very humbling for me to meet people who seemed very satisfied with their lives they way they were. One of the waitresses I worked with back in 1984 still works there. I stop in whenever I visit my Mom to say hi.

  7. Gordo Says:

    Nothing says redneck like a wife beater, shit kickers and a banjo. LOL

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